Elaine Penn To Speak To SCAC Student-Athletes About Building Better Communities

Elaine Penn To Speak To SCAC Student-Athletes About Building Better Communities

SUWANEE, Ga. - Elaine Penn has been working in higher education for more than a decade. Her years on a college campus have given Penn the chance to work with and learn from students.

"No two people have the same life experience. My goal is to help students reach a level of understanding and respect for each other's differences while at the same time finding that common thread that connects us all, " Penn says.

Beginning Sept. 15 in Birmingham, Ala., Penn brings her high-energy and interactive presentation to the campuses of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). Penn will speak at Birmingham-Southern College on Sept. 15 and 16 and then travel to Jackson, Miss. to speak at Millsaps College on Sept. 16 and 17.

Other stops on the SCAC tour include:

Sept. 21-22 - Trinity University
Sept. 22-23 - Southwestern University
Sept. 28-29 - Rhodes College
Sept. 29-30 - Hendrix College
Oct. 6-7 - Centre College
Oct. 7-8 - DePauw University
Nov. 9-10 - Oglethorpe University
Nov. 10-11 - Sewanee-The University of the South

*Austin College and Colorado College - TBA

Penn's appearances are being funded by the NCAA Strategic Initiatives Grant, made available annually to Division III conference offices.

In 1996, Penn started presenting on college campuses.  She has spent a great deal of her lifetime coaching, teaching, and working with students. She realized that, if given the concepts and tools, students could take diversity awareness to a new level.  Penn's high energy and interactive style have made her a success with students regardless of whether she's speaking about community building, leadership, or diversity.  All of Penn's programs are packed with audience participation, discussion, and activities.

"People do not just sit and listen at my programs - we all contribute our thoughts and ideas," Penn says. A recent participant claimed "she [Penn] has a special talent for allowing students to learn from each other without needing to provoke them - people just open up during her program."

Penn uses her special talent of singing to round out her programs. Coming from a musical family, she has performed publicly since she was a child. Penn is an experienced guitarist, vocalist, and published songwriter and uses music in her programs to add a different dimension. Her CD, Same Sky, is a compilation of her original music focusing on issues of diversity.

"Through these different approaches, I am able to draw the students in and ultimately get them to think about their world and how they can change it for the better," Penn says.